What Your Library Has Been Up To ...

What Your Library Has Been Up To ...
It is the beginning of a new year – besides looking forward to everything that will be happening in 2016, it is also a time to look back on the past year. Each January, I go through all my notes to remind myself how much has gone on at the Hopewell Branch the year before. The branch where I work is only part of a much larger system; Every one of the nine branches of the Mercer County Library System has a similar set of accomplishments. We measure our success based on the service we provide to everyone who walks through our doors or accesses our resources from home. Whether you were one of our 1,404,589 visitors or just getting to know the library system now, I think you will be pretty amazed with what we accomplished in 2015!

One of the most obvious services the library provides is circulating materials. A great number of patrons come to their local branch or visit the website specifically to check out books, videos, music and audiobooks. In 2015, there were 1,830,814 circulations in-house and electronically! Our collections are growing and changing every day as we strive to give our patrons what they want. Find out more about our online services by visiting our virtual branch – we have eBooks, magazines, music, videos, audiobooks – you can get it all without leaving your house.

There is a lot going on in the system besides checking out books. Every month, all branches have a full calendar of programs and activities for children, teens and adults. Staff work hard to find interesting, informative and fun programming for our patrons. To see what is going on in the system or just your local branch, take a look at our online calendar. The number of programs and their attendance just blows me away – 4,575 programs for children and teens with 88,783 attending; 1,764 for adults with 20,272 attending!

All branches offer computer access – whether through the library system’s public PCs or by using our free WiFi. Patrons used the in-house PCs 132,262 times in 2015. Having computer access is very important, especially to patrons who do not have a computer or the internet in their home. Patrons used their own devices to connect to the free WiFi a total of 98,032 times. If you would like to get more familiar with how to use a computer or the various wireless devices, the library offers free classes throughout the system. In 2015, 3,309 people attended 710 classes. If you cannot make it for a class, ask a staff member at your local branch for help. Many times, we can help you right then or make an appointment for one-on-one help at a later date.

And, just in case you believe the hype that Google, Siri, Cortana and Echo can handle everything, library staff members answered 149,767 reference questions in 2015.

As you can see, your library system has been very busy. Thank you to everyone who has visited and participated in 2015 – your dedication pushes us to be our best, to continue to innovate and always look for the best ways we can serve you.

-Andrea at the Hopewell Branch


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